|Pastor Dean Cross & Jodi Cross|
I have been racking my brain as to what to share with you. There are so many different directions I could go in. I also would like to make a great impression, since I am meeting many of you for the first time. ;) I would love it if you were here in my kitchen right now sharing a cup of tea with me (I just made chamomile).
I come from a big, loud, crazy Italian-Jewish Family from New York. We put the fun in dysfunctional. Dean comes from a large, quiet, sit-around-and-not-talk family from Maine. Yup, that was interesting! It was a “cross-cultural” marriage. We will be married for 24 years this September. We have 4 kids: Ben (22), Rene’ (20), Jessi (18) and Nicole (16, this September). We also have 2 dogs, Ziva and Remy. So, our house tends to be more on the crazy and loud side. It is definitely not for the faint of heart.
If I had to sum up my walk with God with one word, it would be trust. Trust has never been easy for me. When I accepted Jesus at 16, it was life-changing in so many ways, but when I read that He called me His friend (John 15), I felt like I belonged somewhere for the first time. We walked through healing me of the effects of an abusive, alcoholic father and the insecurity that crippled me in many areas.
I went to Youth With A Mission, where I did things like drama, public speaking, traveling to other countries, changed oil on a school bus, digging ditches ~ things that I thought I could never do. I met Dean there. We were serving God and changing the world. Six months after we were married, my mom died from an aneurism. It rocked me to my core. My mom was my best friend and my rock.
I couldn’t trust God anymore. My mom LOVED Him! She was a worshipper, not a great singer, but a worshipper. She served God and others with complete abandon. Oh, I still did all that I was supposed to, but deep down inside something died with my mom. An underlying fear was there. I held back from God.
Since that time, we have faced the ups and downs of life as we served in churches, cried as our girls fought for their lives in NICU, said goodbye to Dean’s sister as she ended her fight with cancer, celebrated milestones in life, planted a church, moved from New England to North Carolina to Texas, serving God, His people and loving our family.